Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Vanilla Snowflake Martini

I just received a post from a friend that had this recipe.
I love every ingredient in it.
I adapted the recipe without changing the integrity of the original.

Vanilla Snowflake Martini

Here's what you'll need:
A Cocktail Shaker
1 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. Creme de Cacao
1 oz. Frangelico Liqueur
2 oz. Half and Half

Fill the Shaker Half Full of Ice.
Add all remaining ingredients.
Shake well and strain into a Martini Glass.

Peace in the Kitchen!

The Best of the Best Gingerbread!

I love Gingerbread. I like a dark and very tasty Gingerbread. It reminds me of a Charles Dickens Christmas.  I have many recipes for it. I'm always in search of the Best of the Best Gingerbread. That's a title that I use when I find a recipe that is better than any other in it's category, (The Best of the Best)

Candied Ginger

I use this whenever a recipe calls for Molasses.
There's also Lyle's Golden Syrup
that I use whenever a recipe calls for Corn Syrup.

My favorite Springform Pan
from The Pampered Chef.

Here's my choice for The Best of the Best Gingerbread.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - 9" Springform Pan, sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray. (my favorite is the Pampered Chef Pan with a Tempered Glass Bottom)

Chopped Candied Ginger for Garnish. (it's baked on top of the batter)

1 C Dark Molasses or British Treacle.
1/2 C Boiling Water
5 TBS Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 C Flour

In a Large Mixing Bowl:

Boiling Water
Stir until well combined with a Wooden Spoon.

Baking Soda
Stir just until combined, don't over mix.

Continue stirring by hand with a Wooden Spoon.

Spoon the Batter into the Pan.
Top it with the Chopped Candied Ginger.

Bake for 25 - 35 minutes.
The top should spring back when lightly tapped and it should pull away from the pan.
When I made it, 30 minutes was enough.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Vegetarian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Bread Roll

We had this for Lunch this Week. It's so delicious that I decided to share it. It was great for Lunch but I would also serve it for Breakfast or Dinner. It can certainly be customized for personal taste by adding or eliminating ingredients. I added a NOTE with a variety of Options.
Even though I make it with a Vegetarian, Meatless Sausage, you can certainly use your own choice of Sausage.

I also use this to make Breakfast Sausage Patties.

Vegetarian Stuffed Bread Roll

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
A Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper.

1 - (1 Pound Loaf) of Frozen Bread Dough, thawed.
2 TBS Olive Oil (Omit if using real Sausage)
1 Package of Gimme Lean Vegetarian Sausage
1/2 C Chopped Onion
1 - Box of Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry. (Separate into Pieces)
6 oz. of Shredded Swiss or Cheddar Cheese
1/4 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 TBS Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Eggs, (1 separated)

1/4 C Diced Red Bell Pepper, or a combination of Red and Green. (Added to the Skillet to Sauté)
1 - Can of Sliced Mushrooms, drained and diced. (Added to the Skillet to Sauté)
I could also see the addition of Scrambled Eggs Sprinkled over the top of the Sausage Mix
just prior to Rolling the Dough.
And, as a Texan, I serve it accompanied with a Side of Salsa. (Homemade or Pace Chunky Salsa)

In a Large Skillet on Medium High Heat:
Oil, until hot.

Sauté for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Set aside to Cool completely.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Sausage Mixture
Shredded Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
One Whole Egg and the Yolk from the Second Egg
Stir to Mix well.

On a Flat, lightly Floured Surface:
Roll out the Dough into an 11" X 17" Rectangle.
Spread the Filling over the Dough, leaving a 1/2" Border on all 4 side.

Roll the Dough tightly to form a Log. (Tuck in the Dough at each end.

Beat the remaining Egg White with 1 TBS of Water.
Brush the Dough.
Transfer the Roll to the Sheet Pan.
Bake for 45 minutes, until Golden Brown.

Transfer to a Cutting Board.
Slice and Serve Hot.

Peace in the Kitchen.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The World's Greatest Cheese Dip.......... comes from Arkansas!

I was quite surprised to discover this bit of Food History:

Cheese Dip, as we know it today, was introduced to the world and restaurant menus in 1935 by
Blackie Donnelly, a Central Arkansas restaurateur and owner of Mexico Chiquito. In 2009, a local attorney and filmmaker Nick Rogers researched the history of Cheese Dip in Arkansas and why it's so beloved, and it all led back to Donnelly.

The World's Greatest Cheese Dip

Here's what you'll need:
A Saucepan
A Large Double Boiler
Tortilla Chips to serve.

I did not list the ingredients separately at the beginning of this recipe. They're added as needed.
Read the entire recipe carefully to have all ingredients available.

In a Saucepan on Medium High Heat:
8 TBS Butter
Heat until Melted.

4 TBS Flour
Whisk well to create a Roux or Paste.

In a Small Mixing Bowl:
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Tabasco  Sauce
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
1 Fresh Jalapeño, Diced.
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced.
1 TBS Ketchup
1 Pinch of Salt
Whisk well.
Add this mixture to the Saucepan.
Whisk well.
Reduce Heat to Low.

Continue cooking for 2 minutes.

2 C Whole Milk
Whisk well.
Transfer to a Large Double Boiler.
Continue cooking but don't allow to Boil.

1/2 Pound of American Cheese Slices, 1 - 2 slices at a time until each addition
melts completely.
Whisking constantly.

Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Muffin Tin Mince Meat Pies .......... "easy as pie"!

I recently saw this recipe from BBC Good Food.
I love Mincemeat!
I'm making these for Christmas.

This recipe is incredible easy.
I buy Vegetarian Mincemeat from a local shop, The British Emporium.
I'll include my recipe for Homemade Vegetarian Mincemeat at the end of the recipe.

I'm posting a series of photographs to show the process.

We bought this Confectioner's Sugar Shaker at
The Café du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana.
It's the perfect way to Dust the Tops of the Pies.

Here's what you need:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1 - 12 C Muffin Tin
Butter for greasing the Pan.
Homemade Pie Crust.
Vegetarian Mincemeat.
Confectioner's Sugar for Dusting.

They Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the tops are Golden Brown.

It doesn't get much easier than this.
I love the process of placing the dough over the top of the Muffin Tin and then trimming it so you don't have to cut out circles and transfer them to the Pan. It also makes it easy to fold in the corners to create the top crust.

Roll the Dough the size of the Muffin Pan, on a Sheet of
Parchment Paper.

Place the Pan on top of the Dough and trim it to the size of the Muffin Tin.

The Pan is flipped over and the Sheet of Dough is on the top.
Peel back the Paper.

The Dough is trimmed following the divisions on the top
of the Muffin Tin.

We tucked the dough using a Muddler.

This is our favorite Vegetarian Mincemeat from
our British Emporium in town.

Ready for the Oven.

Out of the oven and ready to cool completely before
they're dusted with Confectioner's Sugar.
Cooled on a wooden rack.

Dusted and ready for a Serving Platter.

Terry's Homemade Vegetarian Mincemeat:

I know it's not for everyone but I happen to love Mincemeat and because I'm Vegetarian, I love this recipe. It's such an iconic recipe for Christmas. I serve it as a compote and I also use it to fill cookies.
If you love the idea of Vegetarian Mincemeat, without the Suet, this recipe is perfect. It makes the perfect Christmas Gift to share with Friends and Family.
Simply fill Canning Jars and tie some decorative Christmas Fabric over the lid, with Twine or Raffia.

Vegetarian Mincemeat:

4 TBS Butter
1 C Unsweetened Apple Juice
2 Large Apples, peeled, cored and grated. (I use Jonagold).
1.2 C Dark Raisins
1/2 C Golden Raisins
1/2 C Dried Currents
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1/2 C chopped Dried Figs
3/4 C Candied Mixed Peel
1/2 C chopped Candied Red Cherries
Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
2/3 C packed Brown Sugar
1/3 C Dark Rum + an additional 4 TBS to add at the end of cooking.
1/3 C Brandy + an additional 4 TBS to add at the end of cooking.
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Salt

Place all ingredients in a large Dutch Oven and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer , stirring often for 30 minutes. Some of the liquid should begin to evaporate.
Remove from heat and fold in an additional Rum and Brandy.
Allow to cool completely in the Dutch Oven off the heat.
Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
It will keep, refrigerated, for months.

Mincemeat Pies for Christmas!

Peppermint Cheesecake

I have never been fond of Peppermint. I really don't eat anything that tastes like Peppermint.
I know that many do.
However, when I saw this recipe, it looked very tempting and I knew I had to post it on my Blog.
It looks delicious and I'm sure it is.
So........ whether you love Peppermint, or not, I think you should try this!
I will!

Rather that re write the recipe, I'm simply posting the link.
Since I'm posting the link, I can post a photograph of it.
It looks amazing.


Peppermint for Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Baked Biscuit Doughnut Treats

This recipe sort of reminds me of the French/American dessert known as the Croi-Doughnut. This turns a flaky biscuit dough into a baked Doughnut treat that adults and kids will enjoy. They can be decorated in a variety of ways.
During the Holidays we have the option to be Naughty or Nice.......... Make these and be a little bit Naughty!

Baked Biscuit Doughnut Treats

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.
A Doughnut Hole Cutter or a Small Round Biscuit or Cookie Cutter to create a Hole in the center of the Dough.

1 Container of Refrigerated Grands Flaky Biscuits.

A Bowl with 8 TBS Butter, melted for Dipping the Dough.

A Bowl with 3/4 C Granulated Sugar mixed with
2 tsp of Cinnamon for Dipping the Dough.

Alternate Garnishes:

On a Flat Surface:
Open the Biscuit Container.
Separate the Biscuits.

Flatten them slightly with your hands or
use a small Rolling Pin.

Use the Cookie Cutter to cut a Hole in the center.

Dip the Doughnuts and the Holes in Butter and then in the Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture.
Place them on the Sheet Pan.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove the Pan to a Rack to Cool Completely.
You can Ice them and add Sprinkles if you choose.

Peace in the Kitchen!